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Hardcover to Paperback

I was browsing through upcoming YA releases and thought I'd do another post about hardcovers to paperbacks. This time though instead of posting about hardcovers to paperbacks that made me want to pick up the book, I thought I'd post about books where the cover change seemed to change the focus of the book.

First up: The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott

Here's the hardcover-which to me reflects the premise of a girl who likes a friends boyfriend (or at least the cover says she likes a boy that maybe she shouldn't, or it's secret, etc):

Now the paperback:

This to me doesn't reflect the book at all. It's a cute cover and I like it as a cover in general but not for this particular book. I also think it looks too much like the covers for the Ruby Oliver series.

Next up: The Mark by Jen Nadol.


-While the book has somewhat of a paranormal aspect to it, it's more of a philosophical book than it is paranormal. I also really like this cover, although I do think it's a tad misleading about the books plot. But at least it's not as misleading as the paperback:

-This makes it look even more paranormal. It reminds me of Meg Cabot's Mediator series. I do like that the cover shows the vision and "mark" the main character sees, I just think the overall feel of the book is more mystery and paranormal than is actually in the book.

Crusade by Nancy Holder


-I like this hardcover cover because I think it has a gender neutral feel to it. I also like the school gates-it looks mysterious. But I can see where it might be a bit boring and my teens would pass on it.

So the paperback:

-To me, this looks like a cross between Vampire Academy and The Hunger Games. (I think she just looks kick butt like Katniss). I think more of my teens at the library would pick this cover up and the focus is more on the main character and her attitude than the hardcover cover.

Into the Wild Nerd Yonder by Julie Halpern


-I love this cover! Maybe I love it because it's nerdy cute or maybe it's because it's pink and black, my all time favorite color combination. But if you don't know the story or anything about D&D, you might not get the cover.


-The paperback cover has a different take on the nerd part of the story. I really love the attention to the details on the main character-one of her hobbies is sewing skirts out of fun fabric, so I love that that's reflected on the cover. I do think this cover changes the focus to make it look more like a romance, and while there's romance in the story, it's also a story of friendship, self discovery and coming into your own. I still think this cover is nerdy cute though!

Gimme a Call by Sarah Mlynowski


-This cover is simple, but I like it. I think it reflects the story well-a girl is able to call her past self and give advice.


-This is a cute cover in general, but I'm not a fan of it for this book. Something about it strikes me as historical-not sure why-I think it's the phone and the shoes. I like it as a cover, but it just doesn't seem to fit this book.

So what do you think? Am I too picky? Do you want the cove to reflect the books contents and plot? Any other covers that changed that seem to change the focus of the book?


  1. some of these covers were really cute. i like when you do stuff like this because it reminds me that i'm not the only person that thinks about such things!

  2. I don't like it at all when they change the cover from the hardcover to the paperback. I just like the unity of everything being the same.

  3. I like a cover to reflect the content or at least be striking enough that it catches my eye. I'm thinking of The Dark Divine in that regard. The cover had little to do with the content, but was very striking.

    Some covers seem a bit generic though and cause me to scratch my head, instead of inspiring me to look into the books.

  4. The change for 'The Unwritten Rule' totally confused me. I absolutely agree with it looking like a Ruby Oliver cover. That was my very first thought. And the old cover was pretty and it worked, so I don't see why it changed.

    The 'Into the Wild Nerd Yonder' change totally makes me sad... I can understand wanting to put people on the cover, but they made them look like SUCH NERDS, and I hate the colours. I think it totally misses the point of the book.

  5. I love this post! I always find it fascinating to compare covers. Sometimes I find covers that I am in love with and then I come to realize that they have nothing to do with the book. It's funny that with a lot of the ones you showed here--that the hardcover has more to do with the book than the paperback. You would think subsequent releases of books would have covers that are MORE relevant to the book. It doesn't seem to be the case here.

  6. I really dislike both "The Unwritten Rule" and "Gimme a Call." Both covers feel so off to me.

  7. I love the hardcover cover for Gimme a Call and I even told the pubs that when I picked up my copy at BEA last year. It's simple and I like the colors and I think it looks very chic and older, even though the story is pretty clean. I haaaaate the paperback cover!!!! I think you're right - it looks vaguely historical with the old phone and the chipped paint. And ugh, the gray. :PPPP

  8. I like the original hardcovers on all of them the best with the exception of Into the Wild Nerd Yonder. I don't mind the cover change on that one.

  9. I love the way you really think these through. It's fascinating. Covers are such a fraught topic and I really enjoy reading a librarian's perspective. Also, love the new Nerd cover :) Thanks!


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